MACON, Ga. – After shattering records for a team in its first year in the Atlantic Sun, Florida Gulf Coast racked up the hardware with Jason Peacock, Richard Bleier and head coach Dave Tollet winning the league’s top three individual awards, the conference office announced on Tuesday.
The Eagles became the third team in A-Sun history to win a regular-season championship in their first year in the league and the first to win the title in the one-division alignment. At 25-8, the Eagles established the record for the most conference wins by a program in their first year in the A-Sun, breaking the record set in 1999 when Jacksonville finished its first year at 22-8.
Bleier, a junior from Davie, Fla., was a unanimous selection as the Pitcher of the Year and also earned a spot on First Team with a unanimous vote. He led the A-Sun in ERA (2.19), innings pitched (90.1) and complete games (four). He shared the top spot in wins with seven and ranked fourth in strikeouts with 76.
Peacock, a senior from Bartow, Fla., finished with the sixth-highest batting average in A-Sun history, producing a .434 mark while reaching base at a .525 clip. He increased his production during conference play, hitting .466 with a .566 on-base percentage. All told, FGCU saw eight of its players earn some level of recognition.
In addition to Bleier and Peacock, reliever J.J. Crumbley (Tampa, Fla.) and outfielder Ozzie Borrell (Hialeah, Fla.) made the First Team. Pete Woodworth, who tied Bleier atop the A-Sun with seven wins and freshman second baseman Mikel Alvarez landed on the Second Team. Alvarez, right-hander Richie Erath and left-hander Chris Sale all earned spots on the All-Freshman team.
Crumbley was 6-2 with five saves on the year and had a 1.50 ERA in 24 appearances. Crumbley was selected as the only relief pitcher on the team. Borrell finished second in the league in doubles and led FGCU with 54 RBI. He was one of two players to start all 53 games for FGCU this season. Head Coach Dave Tollett was named Atlantic Sun Coach of the year after guiding the Eagles to one of the most successful seasons in A-Sun history.
The Eagles 25 wins are tied for the third most wins in conference history. Tollett was named Coach of the Year after leading the first year program to an outright championship while setting numerous league records on the way. FGCU was picked to finish 10th in the preseason polls. Tollett has been the only coach in the six year history of the program.
Pete Woodworth (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) were each second team selections. Woodworth, a sophomore, was twice selected as Atlantic Sun pitcher of the week and finished tied for second in the league with 78 strikeouts. Alvarez, who was also selected to the All-Freshman team, recorded a school-record 22 game hitting streak and finished with a .345 batting average. He was one of three A-Sun freshmen to receive 2nd team All-Conference honors.
Sale posted a 3.47 ERA in 21 appearances and fanned 43 batters in 36.1 innings. He recorded an amazing 6-1 strikeout to walk ratio in conference play. Erath became the first Eagle to receive the A-Sun pitcher of the week award after leading FGCU to an 8-0 win over UNF in the first conference series of the year. He limited the Ospreys to just two hits in 8.0 innings. He finished the year with a 2-1 record and 3.62 ERA in 27.1 innings.